12 Jan 2010

New Zealand opposition backs government's Fiji policy

5:35 pm on 12 January 2010

The New Zealand opposition Labour Party says it supports the government's efforts to improve diplomatic relations with Fiji.

Last week, the foreign minister Murray McCully held talks with his Fiji counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Nadi.

As a result of those talks, both countries have agreed to appoint a counsellor and agreed in principle to appoint a deputy head of mission to their embassies in Wellington and Suva.

Labour's leader Phil Goff says not withstanding the fundamental differences between New Zealand and the military regime in Fiji, it's vital to have diplomatic representation.

"It is important that the needs of New Zealanders in Fiji can be properly met. Equally it's important that we have a means of communicating with and finding a way forward for Fiji, provided that way forward meets the values and principles that New Zealand upholds along with the Pacific Forum and the Commonwealth."

The Labour leader Phil Goff.